Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
LOCAL authorities are forced to pump out more money in the procurement of water treatment chemicals as pollution of water bodies is weighing heavily on water quality with citizens bearing the burden of increased water levy.
Speaking at the Environmental Management Strategic Dialogue in Bulawayo on Thursday last week, the Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said it was way cheaper to avoid getting the environment polluted than to then try and rehabilitate it.
Giving a comparison of three local authorities using recent statistics, the Minister said: “Harare will need about 13 chemicals a month to the tune of US$3 million for water treatment alone at a cost of 22c per kilolitre of water. While Masvingo is a bit better as it needs about four chemicals at a cost US$39 000 per month which is 4,39c a kilolitre.
As for Mutare they say you can drink the water straight from the river as it needs about two chemicals at around US$5 000 a month that is 0,16c to treat a kilolitre.”
Minister Ndlovu said for areas where the water bodies were heavily polluted it meant the public had to bear the burden as the local authority would charge based on the amount needed to treat the water.